Birmingham police take the knee with We Matter rally protesters


Police officers take the knee alongside Black Lives Matter protesters as hundreds gather at ‘We Matter’ anti-racism rally in Birmingham

  • We Matter protestors took to the streets of Birmingham for rally this afternoon 
  • It was organised by Windrush scandal campaigner Bishop Desmond Jaddoo
  • Hundreds of people, including families affected by police brutality, joined him
  • Police officers present at the rally took the knee alongside the protestors  

Several police officers took the knee alongside demonstrators during a We Matter protest in Birmingham today. 

Hundreds of people took to the city’s streets this afternoon to protest against racism, the Windrush scandal and highlight claims of police brutality. 

They stood in Victoria Square holding powerful placards calling for justice and repeating the final words ‘I can’t breathe’ uttered by George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis, U.S last month. 

Police officers take the knee among protestors at the We Matter rally in Birmingham today

Police officers take the knee among protestors at the We Matter rally in Birmingham today

The officers speak to a protestor as they take the knee during the rally to stand up to racism and highlight the Windrush scandal

The officers speak to a protestor as they take the knee during the rally to stand up to racism and highlight the Windrush scandal

Hundreds of people took to the streets, many wearing masks, holding powerful placards and banners

Hundreds of people took to the streets, many wearing masks, holding powerful placards and banners

One protestor holds a sign repeating George Floyd's final words as he died in police custody in Minneapolis, U.S

One protestor holds a sign repeating George Floyd’s final words as he died in police custody in Minneapolis, U.S

The protest, organised by Bishop Desmond Jaddoo, also aimed to draw attention to the disproportionate number of black people who died from coronavirus. 

Mr Jaddoo has been leading campaigns to bring attention to the Windrush scandal and claims of police brutality. 

He told the Birmingham Mail: ‘The purpose of the rally is for us to galvanise and start demand the addressing of the inequality that we face.’

Protest organiser Bishop Desmond Jaddoo took to the stage to speak during the We Matter rally

Protest organiser Bishop Desmond Jaddoo took to the stage to speak during the We Matter rally

The rally was also set up to draw attention to claims of police brutality and the disproportionate number of black people who have died from coronavirus

The rally was also set up to draw attention to claims of police brutality and the disproportionate number of black people who have died from coronavirus

Hundreds of people walked through the city holding placards and banners spreading awareness of the Windrush scandal and the number of black people who have died from coronavirus

Hundreds of people walked through the city holding placards and banners spreading awareness of the Windrush scandal and the number of black people who have died from coronavirus

Large crowds of demonstrators filled the streets for the 'We Matter' rally organised by Bishop Jaddoo

Large crowds of demonstrators filled the streets for the ‘We Matter’ rally organised by Bishop Jaddoo

Today he took to the stage telling protestors ‘we’re not in the cotton fields any more’.  

The families of Kingsley Burrell and Clinton McCurbin, who died after being arrested by police were present for the rally. 

Kingsley Burrell died in police custody nine years ago after he was left handcuffed face-down in a hospital with a blanket over his head. 

Kingsley Burrell's sister speaks to the crowd as they walk through the city in Birmingham

Kingsley Burrell’s sister speaks to the crowd as they walk through the city in Birmingham

People of all ages joined in the rally, gathering in Victoria Square, Birmingham, and listening to people speak

People of all ages joined in the rally, gathering in Victoria Square, Birmingham, and listening to people speak 

The protestors took to the city's streets and were joined by the families of Kingsley Burrell and Clinton McCurbin who both died after being arrested

The protestors took to the city’s streets and were joined by the families of Kingsley Burrell and Clinton McCurbin who both died after being arrested

Mr Jaddoo said he hoped the rally would initiate the addressing of inequality people face

Mr Jaddoo said he hoped the rally would initiate the addressing of inequality people face

Clinton McCurbin died after he was arrested in Wolverhampton in 1987 which lead to protests at the time.

Mr Jaddoo also made reference to the death of 35-year-old Simeon Francis who was filmed shouting ‘I can’t breathe’ as police officers detained him in Torquay, Devon – in parallels to George Floyd’s death. 

Ten months later in May this year Mr Francis, who was from Birmingham, was arrested again in Exeter and booked into custody. On May 21 he was found dead in his cell. 

Devon and Cornwall Police has asked its own watchdog to investigate the force after the video emerged. 

At the rally, Mr Jaddoo spoke of the death of Simeon Francis, 35, from Birmingham, who died in the Devon and Cornwall police custody in Torquay

At the rally, Mr Jaddoo spoke of the death of Simeon Francis, 35, from Birmingham, who died in the Devon and Cornwall police custody in Torquay

Young children help signs helping to spread the message of the We Matter rally in Birmingham

Young children help signs helping to spread the message of the We Matter rally in Birmingham

A child wearing a protective mask held a placard as he joined hundreds of other demonstrators

A child wearing a protective mask held a placard as he joined hundreds of other demonstrators

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